“Coco” is the sprightly story of a young boy who wants to be a musician and somehow finds himself communing with talking skeletons in the land of the dead. Directed by Lee Unkrich and veteran Pixar animator Adrian Molina, and drawing heavily on Mexican folklore and traditional designs, it has catchy music, a complex but comprehensible plot, and bits of domestic comedy and media satire. Most of the time the movie is a knockabout slapstick comedy with a “back to the future” feeling, staging grand action sequences and feeding audiences new plot information every few minutes, but of course, being a Pixar film, “Coco” is also building toward emotionally overwhelming moments, so stealthily that you may be surprised to find yourself wiping away a tear even though the studio has been using the sneak-attack playbook for decades.
A rat who can cook makes an unusual alliance with a young kitchen worker at a famous Paris restaurant.
Named Remy, the rat dreams of becoming a great French chef despite his family’s wishes and the obvious problem of being a rat in a decidedly rodent-phobic profession. When fate places Remy in the sewers of Paris, he finds himself ideally situated beneath a restaurant made famous by his culinary hero, Auguste Gusteau. Despite the apparent dangers of being an unlikely, and certainly unwanted, visitor in the kitchen of a fine French restaurant, Remy’s passion for cooking soon sets into motion a hilarious and exciting rat race that turns the culinary world of Paris upside down.
Pixar’s soul is the story of a jazz pianist who has a sudden near-death experience and gets stuck in the “before-life”, contemplating his choices and getting reminded of the existence that he took for granted.
Pixar veteran Pete Docter is the credited co-director, alongside playwright and screenwriter Kemp Powers. Despite its consequential themes, “Soul” has a rather light touch. It may even be described as an extension to jazz itself, crafted with the finest craftsmanship that craftsmanship can offer. A musician might liken “Soul” to an extended riff, or a five-finger exercise, which is very much in the spirit of jazz, an improvisation-centered art that’s honorably and accurately depicted on screen whenever Joe or another musician character starts to perform. It touches the deepest and darkest part of the human mind, when being “in the zone” turns into an obsession and much, much more.
Princess Merida is seen in the prologue as a Scottish tomboy whose life changes because of an early birthday gift, a bow. It quickly inspires her to become the best archer in the kingdom. We then see Merida as a young lady of marriageable age, who is baffled by the request from Queen Elinor. She must choose one man from three possible choices made by her clan, as her husband.
Merida flees into the forest, where her friends ( will-o-the-wisps) lead her to the cottage of an old witch. She begs for a spell that would change Queen Elinor’s mind. She is given one that changes something more. It turns Elinor into a bear.
However, the magic spell had an escape route. Merida has two days to reverse the charm. she and her mother begin to work together and grow closer than ever, despite the queen not being able to speak. However, there is a complication. King Fergus had his leg bitten off by a bear in the beginning and has been having an aversion toward them ever since. When he sees his wife as a bear, he fails to recognize her.
The movie proceeds from here on.
The Scottish Highlands are beautifully depicted in the movie.
It is a movie full of profound themes. They address life’s immense potential to take a journey and the zeal to fathom the unknown, the beyond. There are a plethora of layers to this movie. Each of them has been clearly described for children and adults alike.
It is one of the funniest Pixar films. Carl’s crankiness, Russell’s innocuous actions, the speaking dogs ensure that there is no shortage of entertainment for the audience. The humor assists the movie by easing some of the more serious sequences that take place later in the movie.